Patients are increasingly looking for retail-like experiences when it comes to healthcare, and that includes the bill pay experience.
Rather than just adding options for where or how to pay, some healthcare innovators are treating the financial experience as a critical quality element.
Health systems and medical groups can adopt a “patient bill care” approach that enhances engagement and improves financial outcomes.
Against rising inflation and increasing costs, Americans are paying bigger healthcare bills than ever before. The increase in annual deductibles and premiums has far outpaced wage increases, requiring most families to pay larger chunks of their paychecks to meet basic healthcare needs. That can result in collection issues, necessitating that providers take a different approach. “The question is, how does your revenue cycle system adapt to this new environment in a way that’s going to meet the patient where they are, rather than force the patient to interact with us the way we want them to interact?” Mr. Gaines asked.
Digital is the new normal. While consumer behavior has been changing, the pandemic made clear that digital engagement is critically important. According to a May 2020 Gartner survey on consumer pandemic attitudes and behaviors, the proportion of patients making or managing appointments online leapt from 5 percent to nearly 20 percent, and those who sought virtual help increased from 14 to 20 percent.
Also, consumers expect to be able to pay bills online and expect the process to be simple and similar to other retail experiences. In fact, 75 percent of patients said they simply won’t pay their bill if the process is confusing, according to Managed Healthcare Executive.
Patient satisfaction correlates to the patient financial experience. Data from a recent Patient Engagement HIT survey found that:
New innovations in patient bill care improve the patient payment experience. Those components are:
The best patient financial experience is an accurate, easy-to-understand, frictionless process. Focusing on creating an easy, personalized patient bill care experience can help optimize revenue collection, while giving patients an overall experience they’ll love.